Beyoncé‘s pregnancy with twins Sir and Rumi wasn’t exactly flawless.
In her new Netflix documentary film Homecoming, the 37-year-old singer opens up about the struggles that she went through while carrying her two youngest children — explaining that she developed preeclampsia during what she dubbed “an extremely difficult pregnancy.”
“My body went through more than I knew it could,” Beyoncé admitted.
Preeclampsia, also known as toxemia, is a pregnancy condition that causes high blood pressure and can lead to serious complications, according to Mayo Clinic. Kim Kardashian also suffered from it during her pregnancy with her daughter North, 5, as did Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kenya Moore during her pregnancy with 5-month-old daughter Brooklyn.
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Beyoncé first learned she was expecting in late 2016. At the time, she was scheduled to headline the 2017 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival but ended up having to postpone.
“I was supposed to do Coachella the year prior but I got pregnant unexpectedly,” Beyonce recalled in Homecoming, as footage of her displaying her baby bump played. “And it ended up being twins which was even more of a surprise.”
She kept the surprises coming in February, dropping news of her babies-to-be in a now-iconic photo posted to Instagram.
By the time she gave birth in June 2017, she was 218 lbs., the singer revealed. Her delivery wasn’t easy, either.
“In the womb, one of my babies’ hearts paused a few times so I had to get an emergency C-section,” she said.
Getting back to work on Coachella for her first performance after giving birth brought its own challenges.
“And you know, a lot of the choreography is about feeling, so it’s not as technical, it’s your own personality that brings it to life. That’s hard when you don’t feel like yourself,” Beyoncé confessed. “I had to rebuild my body from cut muscles. It took me a while to feel confident enough to … give my own personality.”
“In the beginning, there were so many muscle spasms and just internally, my body was not connected. My mind was not there. My mind wanted to be with my children,” she continued. “What people don’t see is the sacrifice.”
“It’s my first time home back home on the stage after giving birth; I’m creating my own homecoming, and it’s hard,” Beyoncé also said. “There were days that I thought I’d never be the same. I’d never be the same physically, my strength and endurance would never be the same.”
Homecoming includes home video and never-before-seen photos of the singer’s more intimate family moments, including JAY-Z meeting their newborn twins for the first time and a rare clip of her daughter Blue Ivy singing.
While the documentary shows the 6-year-old visiting Beyoncé in the rehearsal room, those catch-ups only made things harder sometimes.
“I would dance and go off to the trailer and breastfeed the babies, the days I could I would bring the children,” Beyoncé remembered.
“I’m just trying to figure out how to balance being the mother of a 6-year-old and twins that need me and giving myself creativity,” she said. “Physically, it was a lot to juggle. It’s like, before I could rehearse 15 hours straight. I have children, I have a husband, I have to take care of my body.”
Eventually, Beyoncé got there, in a celebrated 2018 Coachella performance that made her the first black woman to ever headline the event.
“I just feel like I’m just a new woman in a new chapter of my life and I’m not even trying to be who I was,” Beyoncé said in the documentary. “It’s so beautiful that children do that to you.”
Homecoming is now streaming on Netflix.
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